Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has said he is opposed to the concentration of all power in Afghanistan in the hands of the Northern Alliance. After his negotiations with his British counterpart Geoff Hoon, Ivanov said: "I would not like this to happen because we know from our own sad experience that bringing one or another political force to power in Afghanistan does not help stabilize the situation in that country." "The issue of political settlement in Afghanistan must be resolved by Afghans themselves, taking into account the ethnic composition of the population," he said. British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said the military operation in Afghanistan is only at its initial stage. He pointed out that, although the future state system in Afghanistan involving all sections and groups of the population is already being discussed, this is rather a matter of the future.
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign